Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, October 6, 1999
Ward County balks at new task force costs
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- Ward County may pull out of the Trans Pecos Drug
Task Force over a request for funding made by task force accountant Bruce
In a letter to each of the eight participating agencies, Salcido asked
each one to contribute $12,000 cash for their share of the grant match
Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo Gomez said the money is needed to meet
payroll and other expenses of the task force, which began operating in
February. Reeves County Commissioners held an emergency meeting last week
to allocate funds for the current payroll.
"Reeves County has been very generous allocating funds in advance, but
they are unable to continue to fund the matching requirements," Salcido
said in the letter. "We are requesting $12,000 to assist with the 25 percent
Gomez said the state of Texas reimburses the task force for 75 percent
of expenses, and participating entities are required to pay the remaining
25 percent. Counties set aside bed space in their jails to raise revenue
for the match, but it hasn't been enough, he said.
"I called the counties and told them we want $12,000, but if they can't
come up with the money, we won't kick them out," Gomez said. "All we are
asking is help to finance this. Once we get seizures built up, we will
reimburse that money."
Ward County Judge Sam Massey said in a letter to Salcido that he is
very concerned about the request for additional cash funding.
"We were told from the beginning that the first year of the task force
would be 100 percent funded by the state grant," he said. "We were told
that after the first year the seized fund would probably pay all the bills
above the partial grant. But, if those funds did not pay the bills, the
bed space deal would surely pay the bills. Now, only a few months into
the operation, you are already asking for money from us as underwriters.
We believed that to be an act of last resort. We were told `it would probably
Massey said he is examining Ward County's contract with the task force.
"It is my intention to lobby the Court to withdraw from the Trans Pecos
Task Force just as soon as we legally can do so," he said. "We demand that
we be given a complete detailed account of every penny collected or spent…"
Salcido said in the letter that of $213.424 spent through August 31,
the state has reimbursed $160,068, leaving a match of $53,256 for participating
agencies to pay.
Gomez said the money was spent for four new cars, plus leased vehicles,
rent for the office, utilities and equipment to operate the task force.
Some money is used in undercover drug purchases, he said.
The state had agreed to fund the task force 100 percent for the first
year, which ended June 30, Gomez said. Since organization took longer than
anticipated, the task force only operated under that agreement from February
Although numerous vehicles, two houses and thousands in cash have been
seized, only a few forfeiture cases have made it through the court system,
Gomez said. Until the seized items have been forfeited by a district judge,
the task force cannot use or sell them.
The task force was one of two formed in the area last year, after the
state denied funding to the Permian Basin Drug Task Force. The state created
the other group, the West Texas Drug Task Force, which was at first operated
by the Department of Public Safety and is now run out of Ector County.
Transient `helper' helps self Fair booth funds
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- Christian charity begins at home.
That's what one resident of the Christian Home apparently thought when
he absconded with $750 raised by members of First Assembly of God Church
in their booth at the Reeves County Fall Fair.
Pastor Matt Williamson reported to Sheriff's Deputy Michael Dominguez
that the California resident had been in Pecos for about two months and
had been helping out at the church.
"He did pretty good and gained their trust," Dominguez said.
But after calling Williamson on Saturday night to report the fair booth
took in $750 on a chair raffle, the man took his registration record from
the Christian Home and left town, Dominguez said.
Dominguez said he is following up on another incident that happened
awhile back to get a date of birth on the missing transient.
Officials offer cash for arrest of tire slashers
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- Pecos Valley Crimestoppers is offering a reward
of up to $1,000 to anyone with information that will lead to arrests in
connection with vandalism to vehicles belonging to Crane residents, which
occurred during a Sept. 24 football game at Eagle Stadium.
Reeves County Sheriff's Deputies received a call at 10:50 p.m that night
and were told several vehicles in the north end of the Pecos High School
parking lot had slashed tires. Upon arrival, deputy Fernando Valenzuela
met with several complainants who said tired on their vehicles had been
slashed while they watched the Cranes' 61-8 win over Pecos.
Vehicles with slashed tires included a 1999 Ford pickup which had the
front passenger side tire slashed; a 1998 Dodge Van that had damage to
front driver's side tire; a 1995 Jeep Four-Door and a 1998 GMC Suburban,
both of which had their front passenger side tires slashed; a 1994 Chevrolet
four-door that had its rear driver's side tire damaged and a Ford F-150
pickup which had the rear passenger side tire slashed.
"The individuals who committed these terrible acts need to be caught
and punished. The person or persons responsible have cast a bad reflection
on our whole community," Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez said in a statement.
"These individuals from Crane came to support their school and their
community as we support our Pecos Eagles. This was a vicious attack against
the Crane Community. The individuals responsible need to be held accountable
for their actions," the statement said.
"We feel terrible about this incident, we want everyone to feel safe
during the games," said Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Don Love.
Parking lot security was increased for this past Friday's Homecoming
game against Kermit, and will also be higher for Pecos' final two home
football games later this month.
"I don't know how many officers we had, but we had extra security out
there," said Love. "Danny (Rodriguez, the Pecos High School Principal and
city council member), talked to the city asking for their help, in the
form of extra officers."
Rodriguez said this morning the school district is offering an extra
$250 for information about the incident. "We put in $250 in addition to
the up to $1,000 that Crimestoppers is offering," Rodriguez said.
"We're interested in the security of our community, but also those who
come and visit us," said Love. "We want to be good neighbors and want the
people who come to Pecos to feel safe."
"We're trying to do a little bit better in that area and take care of
everyone," he added.
If anyone has information on this crime or any other crime call Crime
Stoppers at 445-9898 and you will remain anonymous.
OC's local office assisting with financial aid
PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- The Odessa College Pecos Center is sponsoring Financial
Aid Peparation Week, which begins today and runs through Oct. 13.
The center will help students planning to attend college classes in
the spring of 2000 semester with processing of financial aid applications.
The center can help check on possible federal grant funds that may be available
to those planning on attending college next year.
Those seeking help who have already been employed are asked to bring
their 1998 income tax returns to the office, at 320 S. Oak St., Suite 4.
Office hours are 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. on
Oct. 7 and Oct. 11). For further information, call Michelle Workman at
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Cash Five numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas
Lottery: 7-12-33-35-37 (seven, twelve, thirty three, thirty five, thirty
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 6-4-8 (six, four, eight)
PECOS, Oct. 6, 1999 -- High Tuesday 93; low last night 54. Tonight, mostly
clear. Low in the upper 50s. Southeast wind 10-20 mph. Thursday, partly
cloudy. High in the upper 80s. Breezy south wind 15-25 mph and gusty. Extended
forecast, Thursday night, partly cloudy. Low in the upper 50s. Friday,
partly cloudy. High in the mid 80s.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise